Over 80 Muslim Organizations Urge the Justice Department to Investigate a Terrorism-Research Group

Feb. 10 2022

On January 31, a letter signed by more than 80 American Muslim organizations was sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The letter alleges that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a nonprofit founded by Steve Emerson in 1995, has launched a coordinated effort to infiltrate and spy on the U.S. Muslim community; the letter repeatedly refers to IPT as a “hate group.”

In December, CAIR’s Ohio chapter fired its director, Romin Iqbal, who had admitted to providing information to the IPT. A month later, CAIR also accused Tariq Nelson of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, one of the DC region’s largest mosques, of being an informant for IPT.

Much of the reporting on this story has omitted CAIR’s troubling history; among other things, prominent CAIR members have been convicted of terrorism-related charges, and in 2014 CAIR was designated as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates. In his reporting on the issue, A.J. Caschetta lists these and other common oversights in media coverage of CAIR’s accusations:

[The Washington Post reporters Michelle Boorstein and Hannah Allam] fail to mention important facts about CAIR, such as that the FBI cut off all relations with CAIR in 2009 because of its Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas connections, and that the Department of Justice reprimanded several FBI field offices in 2013 for failing to do so. Instead they simply refer to CAIR as “the nation’s biggest Muslim civil-rights group,” while quoting a CAIR spokesman identifying the IPT as a “dangerous . . . Islamophobic group.”

Worse still, Boorstein and Allam refer uncritically to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center simply as “one of the DC region’s largest mosques.” . . . The Dar Al-Hijrah Center and mosque in Falls Church, Virginia have a long and storied history of terrorist-related activity. Built in 1991 with Saudi money through the North American Islamic Trust, the deed to the property was signed by Jamal al-Barzinji, of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The center’s founder was Ismail Elbarasse, a Muslim Brotherhood big-shot who had in his possession the infamous 1991 memo documenting the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to wage “civilizational jihad” against the U.S.

The Dar Al-Hijrah mosque has also had a series of radical preachers leading Friday prayers. Anwar al-Awlaki, the imam in charge during the 9/11 era, was found to have aided and abetted the 9/11 hijackers and to have recruited for al-Qaeda.

Read more at National Review

More about: American Muslims, CAIR, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood

How the U.S. Is Financing Bashar al-Assad

Due to a long history of supporting terrorism and having waged a brutal and devastating war on its own people, the Syrian regime is subject to numerous U.S. sanctions. But that doesn’t stop American tax dollars from going to President Bashar al-Assad and his cronies, via the United Nations. David Adesnik explains:

UN agencies have spent $95.5 million over the past eight years to house their staff at the Four Seasons Damascus, including $14.2 million last year. New Yorkers know good hotel rooms don’t come cheap, but the real problem in Damascus is that the Four Seasons’ owners are the Assad regime itself and one of the war profiteers who manages the regime’s finances.

The hotel would likely go under if not for UN business; Damascus is not a tourist destination these days. The UN claims keeping its staff at the Four Seasons is about keeping them safe. Yet there has been little fighting in Damascus since 2017. A former UN diplomat with experience in the Syrian capital told me the regime tells UN agencies it can only guarantee the safety of their staff if they stay at the Four Seasons.

What makes the Four Seasons debacle especially galling is that it’s been public knowledge for seven years, and the UN has done nothing about it—or the many other ways the regime siphons off aid for its own benefit. One of the most lucrative is manipulating exchange rates. . . . One of Washington’s top experts on humanitarian aid crunched the numbers and concluded the UN lost $100 million over eighteen months to this kind of rate-fixing.

What the United States and its allies should do is make clear to the UN they will turn off the spigot if the body doesn’t get its act together.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations